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Chemicals: Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace


Chemicals are an important part of nearly every workplace, from specialized industrial chemicals to everyday cleaning products. Ensuring the safe and healthy use of workplace chemicals has been a focus of NIOSH research since the Institute began in 1970. NIOSH research related to chemicals includes toxicity studies, occupational epidemiology, studies of how to measure chemicals in the work environment, studies of engineering controls and personal protective equipment, risk assessment, Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs), and communication tools for understanding and managing chemicals safely at work. The Institute has also published seminal works and policy documents related to chemical management essential to safe and healthy work environments.

The NIOSH Chemical directory provides a centralized resource for guided access to the Institute’s many significant research documents like the NIOSH Chemical Carcinogen Policy, NIOSH Skin Notations, and NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) documents, as well as other safety and health information, resources, and tools, including the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (web and app versions), International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs), NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM), personal protective equipment, and engineering controls.

Toxic Substances Control Act and Workers’ Health

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate chemical substances and mixtures that present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. TSCA was amended in June 2016 by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Among other changes, this amendment made specific changes to TSCA, mandating (click “More” below to expand):

Chemical Resources